Throughout the ages there have always been particular photographs that have become well known classics for one reason or another. They record a snapshot of posterity for the subject and any personage that is included.
Here we have a photo that transcends time and includes several icons of the 20th Century artistic, social and fashion worlds! Although of different times they all come together in perfect harmony.
The photo in question appeared in Life Magazine in September 1960 and pictures Norman Norell with his 1960 Fall "van Dongen Collection".
The collection was inspired by the portrait of the Marchesa Luisa Casati The Quai Venice by Kees van Dongen owned by Norell. Norell originally acquired the van Dongen portrait of Casati at auction for $125 US dollars from Parke-Bernet, New York, in the 1940s.
Norell was perhaps one of the greatest American designers and it is fitting that for inspiration he chose Casati to inspire a collection. Casati was one of the most talked about and painted woman of her age.
The portrait now belongs to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The inspiration has kept on flowing until it reached Tom Ford and the photograph below shot by Stephen Meisel. Eerily similar to the portrait of Norell, in styling and mood, it seems that we are still being inspired by the Marchesa Casati.